The French Defence Ministry revealed a dangerous incident today in which two French Rafale fighter jets were involved in intercepting Russian Su-35s during a patrol mission along the Iraqi-Syrian border. According to a tweet posted on July 6th, French fighters encountered unprofessional behavior by a Russian SU-35 fighter jet, which prompted French pilots to maneuver to reduce the risk of an accident before continuing their patrol.
The incident, which took place in the highly sensitive area near the border between Iraq and Syria, underlines the complex dynamics and the potential for tensions between the military forces operating in the region.
Deployment of the French RAFALEs
The French Rafale aircraft were deployed as part of ongoing efforts to provide security and protect French interests in the region through the conduct of Operation Chammal against ISIS.
#Chammal | Le 06/07, 2 Rafale 🇫🇷 en mission de protection à la frontière irako-syrienne ont réagi à une interaction non-professionnelle de la part d’un SU-35 🇷🇺.— Armée française – Opérations militaires (@EtatMajorFR) July 6, 2023
Les pilotes 🇫🇷 ont manœuvré afin de maîtriser le risque d’accident avant de poursuivre leur patrouille. pic.twitter.com/jJPvKMutUl
Details about the nature of the unprofessional interaction between French and Russian fighter jets were not provided in the French Defense Ministry’s tweet. However, it is clear that the French pilots took swift action to ensure the safety of the aircrafts.
Moreover, according to the photos published by the French MoD, they probably had the Russian Su-35 under lock as the Russian pilot was probably trying to cause “trouble” like another Su-35 that tried to take down a Unites States’ UAV two days ago.
Regarding Russia's unprofessional behavior while reacting with U.S. aircraft over Syria, please see the video of today's encounter.— US AFCENT (@USAFCENT) July 5, 2023
For the full statement by Lt. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, Commander, 9th AF (AFCENT) visithttps://t.co/WKDYPiPT96@CENTCOM @DeptofDefense @usairforce pic.twitter.com/nmSSBxUojO
The Rafale, a versatile multi-role fighter aircraft developed by Dassault Aviation, is the spearhead of the French Armed Forces and is known for its advanced capabilities. The SU-35, on the other hand, is a highly capable Russian-built fighter aircraft, known for its versatility and advanced technologies, which until the regular arrival of the Su-57 is also the respective “spearhead” of the Russian Air Force.
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